can a vibration dampener affect tennis elbow?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Bobble, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. Bobble

    Bobble Rookie

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    I use poly strings and dont want to switch because I play so well with them. But I use a babolat pure control + with a 1 handed bh and don't use a dampener. I have been making slight adjustments to my form but im wondering is use of a dampener can have any effect. thanks
     
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  2. LuckyR

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    For tennis elbow, in a word: no.
     
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  3. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    In my experience, it definitely makes a difference. Just because it hasn't affected you, LuckyR, that doesn't mean it won't affect someone else.

    However, Bobble, IMO you need to give up on the poly strings if you are serious about helping your elbow.
     
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  4. LuckyR

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    If it isn't common sense and you don't believe me, perhaps www.racquetresearch.com knows more than either of us...


    The Effect of String Damping Gadgets

    Damping doo-dads on the strings damp only residual string bed vibration, and do not really protect the arm by damping frame vibration. Adding more mass to the head in the form of a damping gadget is a bad idea because it increases r in the formulas and therefore worsens performance, so the damper should be light. Pete Sampras' string damper is just a cable grommet, and Andre Agassi uses a rubber band.
     
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  5. D-man

    D-man Banned

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    I've found string dampening to be able to significantly reduce frame vibration, not just the pinging sound. This is not scientific analysis and I am not a physics major, but it was quite dramatic and apparent; without dampener, frame vibrates noticably going up the arm, with dampener, frame does not vibrate noticably, vibration does not travel up arm.

    I would think also it would depend on the racket and the dampener. I have found two fat rubberbands to be the most effective.
     
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  6. AJK1

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    Unfortunately you do two things that greatly cause TE
    1) You use poly
    2) You use an extended length racquet

    Unless you are willing to change these two things you will damage your arm and affect your tennis for a long time. I speak from experience. Whats more important to you?
     
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  7. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    LOL - I think I'll take my own direct experience of the way I feel with and without using a dampener.
     
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  8. chess9

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    A dampener will do nothing for your elbow. If you have tennis elbow, or the stirrings of tennis elbow you might consider using a 27 " racquet, in a softer flex (that one's about 70?), with gut strung lower. Poly is fantastic, but unless you are using one of the softer polys, like SPP, then you are courting disaster if you are having elbow pain. Also, most elbow pain is caused by poor fundamentals. Take a lesson or 20! I take them at 64!!! Even the pros take them.
    -Robert
     
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  9. LuckyR

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    ^^^^^^^ What he said...
     
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  10. cghipp

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    My fundamentals must be dramatically better when I am using a dampener!
     
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  11. Bottle Rocket

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    A dampener definitely MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

    To think that string vibration does not effect your arm is a serious thing to overlook. When we're talking about strings vibrating at extremely high frequencies as they do, it can really irritate things in your elbow as well as your wrist. The effects are perceived differently by each person, but regardless of what you feel, there is a difference in what is transmitted to your arm. What do you think dampens the string vibration without a dampener? It is transmitted directly to the frame and in turn is transmitted to your hand and throughout the rest of your arm.

    Frame vibration is another big issue, that depends on the frame and other things. Prince rackets do a great shop of getting rid of this vibration. This is the idea behind Babolats Cortex technology.

    Like the others said, softer strings and a standard length rackets are also obvious things to do. If you don't have TE at the moment and are careful and pay attention to any warning sings, you will probably be fine. Keep tensions low on poly's, use a dampener, and use an overgrip to dampen even more shock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
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  12. Bobble

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    thanks bottle rocket
     
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  13. scotus

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    When you don't have TE, all that a vibration dampener does is control sound.

    But once you have developed TE, then your elbow becomes extremely sensitive to the string vibration, and my experience tells me that it can aggrevate the TE.

    I don't know if you people have tried Babolat Racket Vibration System (RVS). TW sells it for a few bucks, and this product claims that it not only dampens string vibration but also the frame vibration (which is a whole lot more important for TE sufferers).

    I was skeptical at first, but I tried it. It made a believer out of me.
     
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  14. chess9

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    Show me the proof. Anecdotal schmanecdotal. Not worth a sou. The physics doesn't lie. Let's see the studies. These bloody things are just another marketing gimmick for all of us aficionados. Or, something.....Get yer' wallet out....

    I'm very very skeptical, just in case you hadn't gotten my drift. :)

    -Robert
     
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  15. scotus

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    Feel free to disagree. Exercise your freedom.
     
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  16. heycal

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    What do we make of CGHIPP's claims that a dampener helps her elbow? Is she only imagining that it helps and benefiting from a placebo effect?
     
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  17. cghipp

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    It must be the most long-term placebo effect in medical history. Without the dampener, my arm is more sore from my wrist to my shoulder. I will take the most obvious cause as the most likely one.
     
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  18. JWin

    JWin New User

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    I demo'd a Prince 03 Tour and Dunlop Aerogel 300 this past week, absolutely no doubt the dampener made the racquet feel more solid, I can feel string vibration in the handle with it removed in both of these racquets.
     
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  19. heycal

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    Personally, I have no real opinion on vibration dampeners but am curious about the issue. I find it very interesting that you swear up and down that vibe dampeners help your arm, but luckyR and Chess9 among others claim they do not help one's elbow at all. So either you are right, or they are.

    We seem to be an impasse on this issue... LuckyR? Chess9?
     
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  20. chess9

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    Cal, this important issue will have to be decided the way all important issues are resolved in the world. I have the coin. Heads I win, tails you lose. :)

    I admit I'm a bad person to ask about tennis elbow because I've never had it, but I notice de natha with a dampener, except the slightly reduced sound one gets with a dampener installed. I play with a dampener, btw, but not because it does anything for my elbow. The placebo effect probably has value, however. ;)

    -Robert
     
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  21. 10ispro

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    http://www.stms.nl/december2005/default.html

    From the literature
    String Vibration Dampers Do Not Reduce Racket Frame Vibration Transfer to the Forearm
    Li FX, Fewtrell D, Jenkins M.
    J Sports Sci. 2004;22(11-12):1041-52.


    In this study, the effect of string vibration damping devices on reducing racket frame vibration transfer to the forearm were examined. Twenty participants volunteered to hold a tennis racket stationary in a forehand and backhand stroking position while tennis balls were fired at 20 m·s-1 towards two impact locations, the node of vibration and the dead spot. A three-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on damping condition, impact location and stroke condition was performed on the data. The resonant frequency of the hand-held racket was found to be approximately 120 Hz. No significant differences in amplitude of vibration at the resonant frequency were found for the wrist or the elbow when damped and non-damped impacts were compared. Impacts at the dead spot produced greater amplitudes of vibration (P < 0.01) but no interaction between impact location and string dampers was evident. The string dampers had no effect on the grip force used or the muscle electrical activity in the forearm after impact. In conclusion, we found that string dampers do not reduce the amount of racket frame vibration received at the forearm. We suggest that string dampers remain a popular accessory among tennis players because of their acoustic effects and psychological support rather than any mechanical advantage.
     
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  22. D-man

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    I know some people will not be convinced no matter what I say, but this study is, in my opinion, far from conclusive, or even really scientific, and is quite arrogant and condescending in its authoritative tone. So some 20 players held a racket with a ball hitting the strings. First, I don't think that accurately reproduces the dynamics of a full swing, especially on a mis-hit. What level were the players, and how good was their form? With good form less vibration is transferred. What rackets did the players use? What dampeners were used? I've tried many dampener styles, and they all feel very different to me. What strings were used? Some strings transmit more vibration to the frame.

    For me, of course, my own experience is more powerful since I am not the kind of person to deceive myself. I do have a rather scientific mind and I never be dishonest about what I feel. Dampeners make a signficant difference for me in the whole feel of a stroke, not just the sound. Also, I have experienced with them in all different ways for many years. I suffer from various arm aches due to my poor technique, and they have definitely helped me. In one experiment I tried, my whole arm vibrated and ached without the dampening device, but with it all was well. Scientific studies be damned, I know I am not making it up or having a placebo effect.

    So all in all, the most naysayers seem to be people that have no arm troubles anyway, and have never even extensively tested this. I wonder why they want to be so vociferous? But for those who are interested I think there is enough personal testimony to give it a try. Rubberbands work good. :) I actually most often use two fat rubberbands and a circular dampener in-between.
     
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  23. scotus

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    As I mentioned previously, try the Babolat RVS. It dampens the frame vibration.

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageACBAB-BRVSD.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2007
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  24. chess9

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    Ok. I just looked at that puppy and it may actually work, but a frame is nothing but a series of vibrating nodes summed into one vibrating super node that transmits shock waves through the handle into the hand and up the arm. That device by Bablolat is, I assume, dampening string vibration entering the frame, or attempting to. To dampen the whole frame with that device is not, I think, possible. It is possible that it actually does SOME dampening, which might help TE, so I'm quizzical but unconvinced.

    I will defer to the real physicists on board as it's been over 40 years since I got my physics degree and have never used it.

    -Robert
     
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  25. scotus

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    No one is claiming that the device dampens the frame vibration completely, and I am not here to convince you of anything.

    But those of you who are actually suffering from TE might be willing to shell out a few bucks and try this external device while Robert here waits for some physicist to publish a study in a peer-reviewed journal.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2007
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  26. LuckyR

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    That doesn't sound like Tennis Elbow...

    I'm happy you're painfree, though.
     
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  27. Kevin T

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    I believe this was discussed in Tennis Mag many years ago. Stringbed vibration does not cause tennis elbow. And there is a difference between VIBRATION and SHOCK. To put it simply, how can a few gram piece of rubber negate the shock when a 2oz tennis ball strikes the stringbed of a 10-13oz racquet at a high rate of speed? I'm no physicist but it makes sense to me. PK's kinetic system, on the other hand, does seem to work.
     
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  28. LuckyR

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    Since personal experience is going for proof here is my personal experience.

    I used to use vibe dampeners for no specific reason. They came with the racquet and looked OK, so I used them. A number of years back after an extremely long lay off, I bought a newer and "better" (read: stiffer), racquet. Boom! TE, really bad, really quick. Rested my arm, but as soon as I used that stick, it was back. Took Motrin, no help. Did some research ( www.racquetresearch.com ) Dumped the pain-stick and got a ProKennex 5G. Arm was 80% better. I really wanted to be pain free though. But couldn't get that last 20%. Got pissed and frustrated and said screw it! I'm going to use free weights even though it hurt to use them. 2 weeks later no pain to this day.

    Here's the rub, after about 6 months of being painfree, I read a post on this board about someone noticing more feedback from their racquet with the dampener off (the 5G is very dead feeling BTW), and that it helped their game. So I removed mine and agreed. Hasn't been put back on and the pain hasn't been back either.
     
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  29. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    No, I don't have tennis elbow. I get the occasional twinge of it, but for the most part I have problems with tendinitis in my wrist and shoulder. It's exascerbated by working on the computer all the time and playing tennis.
     
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  30. scotus

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    I agree with you that PK kinetic system seems to work, which is why I bought one. But it also seems to me that whatever particles inside those PK racquets that supposedly counter the shock and vibration weigh no more than a few grams. And to my knowledge, no physicist has published an article in a peer-reviewed journal that proves that this kinetic system works for TE sufferers.

    Look. Whatever shock annd vibration the frame gets from the ball must be transmitted through the strings, unless you hit a frame shot. And I am not even making the argument that a string vibration dampener will make a big difference to TE.

    I am merely pointing out the fact that the Babolat gadget, which is placed on the frame itself as well as on the strings, claims to dampen the frame vibration and that I find that it helps quite a bit. And it is my arm that notices the difference, not my ear.
     
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  31. kevhen

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    Frame will vibrate alot more without the dampener which can be an annoying feeling and noisy too.
     
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  32. scotus

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    Have you noticed that some of racquetresearch.com''s findings contradict their own "formula" for an arm-friendly racquet?

    What I mean is this. They advocate a heavier, head-lighter, flexier, standard-sized racquet, right? (or maybe not. It has been a long time since I visited that site).

    But their ranking shows that some of the lighter racquets such as Yonex MP-3i and Prince TT Warriors take the top spots.

    What about their claim that they modified a Wilson Hammer to make the best arm-friendly racquet? And they did this by lengthening the frame! Go figure.
     
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  33. scotus

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    Okay, I just revisited the racquetresearch.com briefly, and they don't make the claim that longer racquets are necessarily bad for TE.

    Nonetheless, how a 28-in tail-weighted Hammer makes the most arm-friendly racquet is not easy to believe.
     
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  34. chess9

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    Yes, that's a recipe for disaster if you have an iffy elbow. I'd get tennis elbow with that kinda' stick. :)

    -Robert
     
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  35. LuckyR

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    I won't speak for them, but my understanding was that by tailweighting the Hammer, you ended up with it's unweighted opposite, ie a heavy, head light racquet.
     
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  36. heycal

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    Others might. Not you.;)

    Personally, I find racquetresearch to be of some interest on this subject, but not wholly reliable.

    Can you tell us your exact weight routine, LuckyR, and how you think it might have helped your Te? (I think we talked about this before, but I've forgotten.)

    Here's my two cents on this all: I play with a 5g. I don't find it all that helpful for TE. I use a vibe dampener just because there seems little reason not to, but I don't think it makes a difference either way. I have not tried this specific Baboloat one referred to above, but I'll probably put it on my list of devices and gimmicks to waste money on during my TE saga...
     
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  37. chess9

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    Oops! I goofed. I misread "tail weighted" as head heavy. Don't ask how I can be that dumb. :) Ok, shoot me. :) So, that would probably be a head light racquet (duh, genius at work here). Good enough for a lot of people, though 28 inches is a big stick.

    -Robert
     
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  38. heycal

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    I don't think you're going to be banned for the mistake, Robert. We forgive you. After all, Serena Williams is a bit tail-weighted, but the announcers sometimes refer to her as Venus, who is not particularly tail-weighted, during the play by play, and both use head-heavy Hammer-type rackets. It's easy to get confused here...
     
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  39. LuckyR

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    I am using travlrajm's medium old setup (the last time I asked him, he was currently removing not only the lead from the tail, but also some racquet plastic from the tail, ie moving the balance more Head Heavy, I was a bit concerned about my elbow <I don't believe he takes that into consideration, personally. I think he is performance oriented only>) on a PK Ionic 5 (not the 5G). That is: a little lead at the tail, a full strip (which is split for each side from about 8 o clock to 4 o clock <starting and stopping at the 4th cross>) and a double strip at 12 o clock.


    He has posted a number of times about it in the racquet section, but it may have been awhile ago.
     
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  40. heycal

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    I meant your weight lifting routine actually.
     
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  41. MTXR

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    I received minor golfers elbow last summer. I was using an "O" damp the whole summer. The damp does make it feel different; the racquet hitting the ball, but i don't believe it makes any significant difference. I think you get injuries from overuse, not warming up, and improper technique. When i was playing every day 4 hours a day after about 2 months of that i started to feel the golfers elbow.

    Now i make sure to get proper rest. No injuries since then. Make sure you do some weight training also just incase.
     
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  42. LuckyR

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    This is what I posted to you on 2/2/07:


    Originally Posted by heycal
    Can you tell us how many curls, what type, what weight, for how long/often, cured the TE? What was your recipe for success?


    I don't necessarily have a lot of upper body strength (although I have a very strong grip), think Davydenko...

    I used a set of dumbells from 15 - 35 pounds. I used the higher weights for wrist curls, 2 - 4 sets of 10 - 12 reps (to failure). And the medium weights same sets and reps for regular curls. I did it every other night for about 1 1/2 - 2 weeks. That is when I noticed my arm pain (when not playing) was gone.

    I used racquet switching and string switching (no change in tension, I string kind of high at 60#s) to get the arm pain to go away when playing.
     
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  43. vegitiger

    vegitiger New User

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    In clinical trials, a placebo effect is the best effect since there is no side effect. So, if you think and feel a damperner can help, then use it; if not, don't use it.
     
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  44. heycal

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    Ah, yes, I remember now. the heavy weight for wrist curls... Are you confident doing this weight routine helped your TE, or is it possible it just coincidentally got better?
     
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  45. scotus

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    Well, aren't placebo side effects also possible if the patients are aware of what side effects the medicine can produce?
     
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  46. heycal

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    I believe there's an old saying from Confucious about this: "Is better to suffer from imaginary side effects than suffer from real ones!"
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2007
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  47. LuckyR

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    The timing made sense for it to have. As I mentioned it got rid of the pain between matches. It still hurt with the "pain stick" while playing, until I got the ProKennex.
     
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  48. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Bumping for a more recent input on current experience. I cant play with my racquet without a dampener. Well, I can but I can feel the extra vibration aggravating my tennis elbow & hate the ping sound ;-)

    For those of you who have tennis elbow, do you find a dampener makes a difference?
     
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  49. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    There was only a five-year hiatus in this thread ... :)
     
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  50. LuckyR

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    Well, the Laws of Physics have not been recinded in the last 5 years...
     
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